Summits, Songs and Science



Given the current situation with the Coronavirus pandemic, we are presently focusing this project on actions we can take to help the public in these difficult times. We are sharing posts on social media that help disseminate reliable scientifically based information in an effort to help public understanding of what is really going on and what we can do about it. This current situation has forced many of us to be at home for extended periods of time and to be cut off from social interaction, distractions and entertainment. It can also add high and unhealthy levels of stress to our lives given the economic and financial disruptions many of us face. In an effort to alleviate some of this we are regularly  sharing live music through Facebook broadcasts to provide some therapeutic distraction and entertainment. Ricardo currently performs live on Facebook every Wednesday at 7pm  Daylight-savings Mountain Time and every Sunday at 6pm. We also share tips and ideas through Ricardo's and Ulyana's Facebook and Instagram accounts on how to remain healthy physically and mentally in these difficult times.
Your contribution to this project will help us with these efforts.

The MISSION of this project is:
“To inspire and connect people around the world while promoting the joys and benefits of mountaineering, music and science”

The GOAL is to finish climbing these 155 SUMMITS:
-   The Seven Summits - the highest peak in each of the 7 continents of the world: Mt. Everest (Asia),  Aconcagua (South America),  Denali (North America),  Kilimanjaro (Africa),  Elbrus (Europe),  Vinson (Antarctica) and Kosciuszko (Australia).
-   The State Highpoints - the highest point in each of the 50 states of the United States of America
-   The Colorado Centennials - the 100 highest peaks in the state of Colorado

...while making a video of a live musical performance and a short science video for each of the mountains we climb.

Visit for more details and to follow the progress of this on going project. 


Ricardo Peña, mountain guide and professional musician, and Ulyana Horodyskyj scientist and mountaineer are embarking on a journey to finish climbing the 155 summits described above. Ricardo has already done 126 of them but still needs to summit Mt. Everest, Vinson Massif in Antarctica and 29 other peaks. Ulyana will be joining Ricardo on as many of the remaining 31 summits as possible while also attempting to complete the full list of 155 peaks as logistics and finances allow.

Through the pursuit of this mission, we believe ‘Summits, Songs and Science’ can bring more fulfillment and happiness to people’s lives in the ways described below:

 Through Mountaineering we would like to inspire people to have a healthier lifestyle with regular exercise, proper nutrition and contact with nature.

Through Music we would like to promote the value of culture. More specifically, to promote the appreciation of great musical works of a wide variety of musical styles and the appreciation of great musicians around the world.

Through Science we would like to share fascinating scientific facts and show the value of scientific and rational thinking in everyone’s lives. We firmly believe much of human suffering and conflict stems from irrational thinking, dogmatism and misinformation. We believe rational thinking and education are a big part of the solution to these problems.

The other main purpose of our mission is to CONNECT people locally, nationally and internationally to counteract the divisive thinking trends of our times and to illustrate the commonality of all human beings.

 To do this we will be sharing this grand adventure with the public through social media and email dispatches, as well as engaging the participation of as many people as possible.

For each peak we climb we will create three small dispatches:

1.       A mini trip report with photos, video and a brief narration of the climb

2.       A video of a live musical performance featuring Ricardo and, when possible, local musicians from the region where we are climbing; or a video featuring Ricardo’s band performing a song that is relevant to the place or inspired by it.

3.       Ulyana’s Science Shorts: These will be short, fun and informative Science videos inspired and/or related to the peak or the region where we are climbing. These videos will also illustrate the importance and benefits of scientific and rational thinking.


Here are the different ways you can participate:


As a patron of this project you can help by donating any amount of money you wish to help fund these expeditions and you participate virtually on this journey through our dispatches. If you donate at least $25 you will start receiving the complete coverage for each peak climbed which includes:

1.The mini trip report
2. A live music video
3. Ulyana’s Science Shorts

Higher donations will give you additional perks as described in our perks section

Base Camp Trekker

Base Camp Trekkers can take it a step further beyond being a patron and come with us to the locations where we will be traveling without having to do any strenuous or technically demanding climbing. BC Trekkers can be present when we record our music performance (and appear on the videos). They can also visit the town where we will be staging our climb and if the peak has an easy hiking option or a drive up option (as many US State Highpoints do) they can participate in an easy short hiking ascent of the peak with Ulyana and Ricardo or a drive to the summit to meet them there. Alpine Expeditions will organize the trip and provide any logistic support needed by BC Trekkers to do this safely and in an enjoyable way.

Summit Climber

The most adventurous way to participate in this project is to actually climb the more challenging peaks with Ricardo and Ulyana. Alpine Expeditions will provide all logistic and guiding support needed to qualified climbers willing to do these expeditions.

Contact Ricardo or Ulyana through this page to book yourself on one of these climbs or for more details about the BC Trekker and Summit Climber options.

Friends / Flash Mobsters

Friends of the project who want to promote this project but prefer not to donate can also help by sharing all our social media content, spreading the word about this project and, if desired, show up at our filming of music videos as we travel to their location in the world! Be part of a fun flashmob in your hometown as we travel around the world!

We publish the schedule of climbs and travel on the project's website , so you can join us if you want!

*We share some of our dispatches with the general public through social media to accomplish our public mission while also inviting them to become a part of the project. Donors and all other participants of this project will receive the most complete coverage of the project.

This is a project Ricardo has been doing in a way since 1994 when he first climbed Mount Marcy, the highest mountain in New York State and has continued through his guiding around the world and his personal expeditions including his latest Mount Everest expeditions. Joined by Ulyana, we have formalized the project to focus more on accomplishing the mission we’ve stated: to inspire, connect and have a positive impact on people’s lives through mountaineering, music and science.

Pursuing mountaineering goals can be a very self-centered or even selfish endeavor... but it doesn’t have to be! Through mountain guiding and Science in the Wild ( we have discovered the joy and fulfillment of helping others achieve goals that have a very positive impact in their lives. 

 The latest Everest expeditions Ricardo did showed us the power of what can be done through crowdfunding. It not only gave him a chance to attempt a dream climb, but it showed us that an expedition like Everest, and all the training climbs he did before, shared through social media and to all the donors, can have a surprisingly big and positive influence on a lot of people. The feedback Ricardo received of how many people were inspired by his Everest expeditions to go for goals they previously saw as out of reach, whether they be fitness, educational or professional goals were truly amazing!
Similarly, throughout Ulyana's PhD journey at the University of Colorado Boulder, she was able to raise funds for her field research projects through science crowd funding pages and, thus, finish her degree. By being open and transparent about her research, she provided the public with insights to how science is done- and how fun it can be too.

Climbing, guiding, making music and doing science around the world have also showed us how these trips  connect people from all over the world!

More importantly: these expeditions contribute significantly to the service providers in many of these 3rd world countries. These are hard working people that depend on these types of expeditions to survive.

Climbing all these peaks takes a lot of time, planning, training and money.Your contributions will magnify the power of what we can accomplish.

With enough donations we can have the funding to attempt all the peaks and high points to complete this grand goal and to spend the time needed to record the musical and science videos.

Through our guiding we will be climbing some of the peaks (including re-climbing Denali, possibly Aconcagua and other Colorado high peaks) so no additional funding will be needed for these. Expeditions like Everest, Vinson and many of the other Centennials and State High Points will require a lot of money. It is for this reason that your participation and donations are essential to this project.

For the 1st phase of this project we are setting a goal of $15,000 which will allow us to climb many of the State Highpoints and Colorado peaks as well as get us started in the fundraising for the two expensive expeditions: Mount Everest and Vinson Massif. This will allow us to share many great dispatches and start accomplishing our mission!

We hope you find the mission and goals of this project to be a noble pursuit that inspires you and that you want to support, enjoy with us, and help share with the world.

You will see your donations at work right away as this project is now in progress and you will start receiving our summits, songs and science dispatches for every mountain we do!

We really appreciate your support!
Thank you!

Ricardo and Ulyana

Ricardo and Uly on their way to Africa's highest point: the summit of Kilimanjaro 19,340'


Ricardo Pena
Broomfield, CO

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